SteamVR

Hands-on with Valve’s The Lab – Your introduction to VR

Hands-on with Valve’s The Lab – Your introduction to VR

The Portal games are among my favorites for a number of reasons. I'm a big fan of solving puzzles and condescending robots, and those games really satisfied both areas. The second game wrapped up the story of Chell pretty neatly, but there's still a lot more to explore at Aperture Laboratories. While at GDC, Valve gave me a peek into some of the various Pocket Universes that we'll be able to explore in The Lab.

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VR’s Secret Sweet Spot: The Mundane

VR’s Secret Sweet Spot: The Mundane

With the launch titles being shown for each of the first major players in VR this week, it's quickly becoming clear: mundane is in. Simplicity, not insanity. Not the most visually spectacular. Instead - like it was with the first big games and apps for the smartphone back when it first gained steam - the games with the most recognizable mechanics are set to be the most important. Case in point: mini golf.

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HTC Vive gets Desktop Theater Mode for playing any game in VR

HTC Vive gets Desktop Theater Mode for playing any game in VR

With the new HTC Vive virtual reality headset running SteamVR, Valve has paved the way for users to play VR-specific games as soon as the device arrives. But what about when you feel like playing an older game, or one that isn't designed for VR? Valve is already on it, as they've just announced a Desktop Theater Mode feature, which will allow any Steam title to run on the Vive, as well as any future SteamVR headsets.

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HTC Vive first impressions: whats in the box?

HTC Vive first impressions: whats in the box?

Just last night I received my Vive Pre developer's kit, which I'm very stoked about. I've only spent a few brief minutes with the Vive, as opposed to the Rift, which I've spent a good deal of time with. Instead of tearing into the package and setting it all up in a hurry, I thought I'd take some time to document the contents.

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HTC Vive saw 15,000 pre-orders in its first 10 minutes

HTC Vive saw 15,000 pre-orders in its first 10 minutes

It seems there's a lot of people out there ready to dive into the future of consumer virtual reality devices. The new consumer edition of HTC's Vive headset is priced at $799, but that didn't stop eager buyers from placing their pre-order when sales opened on Monday morning. Turns out the first 10 minutes alone saw 15,000 orders placed, said HTC VR employee Shen Ye on Twitter earlier today.

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Razer announces OSVR’s first batch of SteamVR games

Razer announces OSVR’s first batch of SteamVR games

This week is a big week for "unreal" reality. Microsoft has just started the pre-orders of its prohibitively expensive augmented reality HoloLens development edition headgear. HTC has also started the same for its Vive virtual reality headset. Google has put up a section on its Store for Cardboard goggles, including Mattel's new ViewMaster. And now, Razer is announcing the first games, all from Steam, that you will be able to play in virtual reality mode on any Open Source Virtual Reality development kit that you may have.

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This is the HTC Vive consumer edition

This is the HTC Vive consumer edition

Today we've had our first look - up close, that is - at the HTC Vive consumer edition. It's not all that different from the headset that's already been out and visible before now, that being the developer version, but it does have its tiny tweaks. The developer version also went by the name "VIVE PRE" - now we're seeing the version consumers like yourself will be purchasing not too long from now for a cool $800 USD.

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HP ENVY Phoenix is “Certified VR ready” for HTC VIVE

HP ENVY Phoenix is “Certified VR ready” for HTC VIVE

HP has officially teamed up with HTC to deliver a PC that they suggest is "certified virtual reality (VR) ready" - for the HTC VIVE specifically. Of course there are many computers already out in the wild that are ready to roll with virtual reality devices like the HTC VIVE, but this is the first such PC that HTC has officially given their blessing to work well with the VR headset they'll be releasing later this year. The PC will be available for purchase separate from the headset, and it wont be alone by the time the headset is released, of that you can be reasonably sure.

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HTC Vive World Tour lets you see things for yourself

HTC Vive World Tour lets you see things for yourself

To see is to believe. Cliché perhaps, but nowhere is it more applicable than in the now revived virtual reality industry. But since getting your hands on an honest to goodness VR headset isn't exactly that easy, even with Google Cardboard, HTC has decided to bring virtual reality to you instead. Sort of. The HTC Vive, its lovechild with Valve, is making its way to different cities around the world, all in the US and Europe actually, to give people the chance to take it for a spin and experience a new kind of reality.

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That dinosaur game works in VR with Oculus Rift

That dinosaur game works in VR with Oculus Rift

ARK: Survival Evolved is announced to be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for PCs with Oculus Rift support. This game was first revealed in incognito mode earlier this month, and just this week was shown to the public with support for virtual reality headsets. Thus far Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4 and Oculus Rift by Oculus VR have been confirmed. Whether or not Valve's own Steam VR will work with the system is still up in the air. We're guessing that YES, it probably will work - and there'll be dragons, too!

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Unreal Engine 4 expands VR support with Valve

Unreal Engine 4 expands VR support with Valve

Today Epic Games and Valve have announced Unreal Engine 4 support for SteamVR with the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. While we've worked with an experienced Unreal Engine 4 with Oculus (to great effect) before, today Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic, suggests that Epic is extremely pumped up to move forward with development tools for SteamVR as well. "This technology is incredibly freeing," said Sweeney, "There is a magical sense of immersion in walking around a VR space and directly interacting with it."

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HTC Vive hands-on: That Valve VR wow-factor

HTC Vive hands-on: That Valve VR wow-factor

I’m going to be blunt with you, words can’t do justice to the experience of using HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset. There’s nothing quite like slipping into a virtual 3D world, as I did this week in a preview of Vive ahead of developer units shipping this spring. Cloistered in a room at the back of HTC’s Mobile World Congress stand, and with the reassuring voice of a Vive engineer whispering in my ear, I got to try out a number of demo apps and environments created for the platform by Valve and others, including the first announced title for SteamVR.

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